When it comes to our kids and their sleep, parents know that a good night’s sleep is golden. And if it is essential for us, it is vital for our children because it helps them to be present. What is the importance? According to the CDC, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that children ages 6 to 12 be given at least 9 to 12 hours (per 24 hours); The sleep needs of much younger children range from 12 to 16 hours. Hmmm, my kids have never slept so long! But I am an optimist and am still looking and learning how to help my children sleep better.
Here are a few things I tested that help sleep along with some helpful advice from a sleep expert.
If your child is complaining about their mattress, it might be time to consider investing in a well-made bed. the Helix children’s mattress is backed by child and sleep experts, which is what we parents want when purchasing an essential item for our children. This folding hybrid mattress is specially designed for growing children. The mattress is designed with springs and custom foam layers so that it is sturdy and not all over the place like some beds can be. What’s remarkable about the mattress is that the firmer side is great for young children who need more spine support. As children get older (around 8 to 12 years old), while the opposite side of the bed is still firm, that side has more cushion. My oldest is growing fast and complains of back pain; the Helix Kid mattress allows him to sleep better. I also like all CertiPUR-US certified fabrics and foams.
Mediation for children: Insight timer
Many parents know kids have their worries just like we do, and these days with COVID, school, and social expectations, their sleep can be more nerve-racking than usual. Meditation can help us all, and together with children, sleep meditation can teach children to relax, let go of the day, find comfort in the face of worries, and (hopefully) relax them enough to have a good time. night’s sleep. There are many free mediation applications available. I like to breathe, to think, to do with sesame Sesame Street for my youngest. i use Insight timer (it’s free!). He loves musical mediations and mediations under five minutes because, well, tweens. #IYKYK
Weighted blanket: California Design Lair Chunky Weighted Blanket
I learned about the benefits of weighted blankets from my youngest son, who loves a nice, midweight blanket. When kids are feeling anxious, a weighted blanket is a bit like a hug and the weight provides pressure which can be quite soothing. Think of it like pressure therapy. This is especially true with my youngest, who is autistic. This 100% cotton by California Design Lair The Chunky Weighted Blanket is soft, and although it is thick, it is not bulky. The measurements are 40 “X 60” and weighs 8 pounds. The brand suggests that the weight of this blanket is best suited for children weighing 80-100 lbs. Since my kids are like little heaters when they sleep, I place it on top of my child to be nice and comfortable, and when I’m asleep I move the blanket halfway up. Tip: Weighted blankets are not just for children with sensory problems; they can actually help us sleep well.
A clock that promotes repetition: Hatch Restore smart sleep assistant with sound machine and Sunrise alarm clock
If your child hates getting up in the morning, the Hatch Restore Smart Sleep Assistant with sound machine and Sunrise alarm clock creates the perfect relaxing setting with ambient sounds and soft lighting until they fall asleep. The Hatch Restore will also gently wake you up with its sunrise light effect and gentle noises such as birdsong. Buybuybaby.com, $ 129.99
Melatonin: Mommy’s Bliss Kids Sleep Chewable Tablets
When babies are in the infant stage, we can train them to sleep or set their nighttime routine with a bath and pajamas, signaling that sleep is near.
When my youngest son’s doctor suggested melatonin, I was quite nervous, but soon learned that melatonin is not a sleeping pill. I have tried many melatonin products, and my favorite is Mommy’s Bliss Kids Sleep Chewable Tablets; I also use the liquid formula.
I love that this blend of magnesium melatonin, organic chamomile, lemon balm and passionflower works within an hour. My children are not groggy in the morning and my oldest does only occasionally. Of course, talk to your pediatrician if you need more advice or guidance while using melatonin. As mentioned, my youngest is now taking melatonin. He is five years old, has ASD and receives this treatment at least four evenings a week on the recommendation of his doctor. $ 7.
Helpful expert advice on sleep!
the Sleepy Mama-Nicole Cannon is a Certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant and Mother of Four based in NJ. Tips to help your kids sleep better at night!
1. Start changing your schedule
If your child is up too late then, just like with Daylight’s Savings, you can try shifting your child’s schedule day by day. Start waking your child about 15 minutes earlier every day or two. In addition, put your child to bed 15 minutes earlier. By the end of the week, your child should wake up at their normal time and bedtime should be back to their original position. (PS-postpone meal time and nap time as well if they crept in later).
2. Remove electronics before going to bed
We hate to admit it, but electronics have been the key to successful parenting over the past couple of years. But blue light from electronics can delay melatonin production. So if your child has trouble falling asleep at night, consider removing screens about an hour before bedtime. Studies have shown that melatonin production starts to increase quite quickly once the blue light is removed.
3. Getting back to basics
Remember when your child was a baby and everything you read told you to establish a nighttime âroutineâ. Well, the same goes for older kids. Create a bedtime routine that is predictable and consistent. A nighttime routine helps a child relax before bed and also takes some of the stress out of parents. Start with a bath or shower, followed by brushing your teeth and pajamas, then books and cuddles, and finally, getting into bed.
4. Set realistic bases
Start talking to your child about what is expected of them in terms of sleep. For your preschooler, that might mean reading them a book about staying in bed or buying an Ok to Wake clock. For an older child, this might mean telling him to get to bed at a set time, but allowing him to read a few books on his own before calling “lights out.”
5. Get outside help
Sometimes, even with the best planning and routine, kids still have problems. If you’ve tried all of the tips above and your child still has trouble falling asleep at night, talk to your doctor about the possibility of melatonin supplementation for a few days. Although this is not a long term solution, melatonin supplements can help reset your child’s internal clock when they return to daycare, camp or school.
This story first appeared on NewYorkFamille.com.